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Une souris verte
(French Nursery Rhyme)

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Une souris verte
A Green Mouse
Chanson enfantine
(French)
Nursery Rhyme
(English)

Une souris verte - French Children's Songs - France - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


Une souris verte
Qui courait dans l'herbe.
Je l'attrape par la queue,
Je la montre à ces messieurs.
Ces messieurs me disent :
Trempez-la dans l'huile,
Trempez-la dans l'eau,
Ça fera un escargot
Tout chaud.
Je la mets dans un tiroir,
Elle me dit : Il fait trop noir.
Je la mets dans mon chapeau,
Elle me dit : Il fait trop chaud.

A green mouse
That ran in the grass,
I caught it by its tail
I showed it to those men.
The men said:
Dip it in oil,
Dip it in water
It will become a snail
Nice and warm.
I put it in a draw
It told me, "It's too dark."
I put it in my hat
It told me, "It's too warm."

Notes

Usually there are two other lines that go:

Je la mets dans ma culotte*
Elle me fait trois petites crottes.

English Translation:

I put it in my pants
It makes three little droppings.

*Culotte used to mean pants or breeches, nowadays it's the word for ladies' underwear.

Another version after "un escargot tout chaud" goes:

Qui est la marraine
Une sauterelle
Qui est le parrain
C'est un gros lapin.

Elle monte à sa chambre
Se casse une jambe
Elle monte au grenier
Elle se casse le bout du nez.

English Translation:

Who's the godmother,
A grasshopper.
Who's the godfather,
It's a big rabbit.

She goes up to her bedroom,
Breaks her leg,
She goes up to the attic,
She breaks the tip of her nose.

*****

Update, April 2011. Sylvie wrote, "A suggestion for this poor green mouse that doesn't feel comfy anywhere! It's to the usual tune…

Je la mets dans mon tiroir
elle me dit qu'il fait trop noir
je la mets dans mon chapeau
elle me dit qu'il fait trop chaud
je la mets dans ma chemise
elle me fait 3 petites bises
(et on compte bien sûr les 3 bises : tout est prétexte!!!)
je la mets dans ma culotte
elle me fait 3 petites crottes
(idem : prout prout prout!)
je la mets dans une casserole
elle me danse le rock&roll
(bruits de pieds ad libitum, et les enfants ne s'en privent pas! mais on revient vite au calme)

English translation of this first part…

I put her in my drawer
She tells me it's too dark,
I put her in my hat,
She tells me it's too hot,
I put her in my shirt,
She gives me three little kisses
(and we of course count the kisses: everything is a pretext to mime something)
I put her in my trousers
She makes three little droppings
(ditto: poot poot poot!)
I put her in a saucepan,
She dances the rock & roll
(Make noise with feet ad infinitum, the children enjoy it, but are soon requested to quiet down.)

… I invented a sequel with children some years ago. Here it is: you open your hand and you caress the mouse, be careful, very softly and with only one finger to avoid hurting her!

Je la pose dans ma main
je lui fait un p'tit câlin
elle me dit :"je suis très bien!"
(Petit geste de contentement de la souris blottie sur la dernière phrase et ralenti "elle me dit je - suis- très--bien!".)

English translation of the end:

I lay her in my hand
I give her a little cuddle
She tells me "I feel very good".
(Little gesture of being made pleased by the "cuddled mouse" on the last sentence and slow down the tempo "she tells me I - feel - very - good".)

Something had to be done for this poor green mouse that suffered so many problems, hadn't it?

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to INTER-COM Translations for contributing and translating this rhyme and to Monique Palomares for providing the alternate version and creating the midi music. Many thanks also to Sylvie Choffel for the additional usual lines and for her own lyrics.

Thanks to Monique Palomares for the illustration!

Many thanks to Tiphaine Woerth for singing this song for Mama Lisa's World!

Merci beaucoup!

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